A Vist to the Bad Chef at La Luna -Melbourne

IMG_1836[1]

I was a lucky girl the other day and was taken out for dinner at La Luna, in Carlton, Melbourne.

Well, I made myself lucky. The man went here with is friends previously, and I was JEALOUS, so he had to take me.

This is the restaurant of Adrian Richardson, who Aussies might know from the T.V cooking show ‘Good Chef, Bad Chef’, shown on channel 10. Who, I admit, I have a little food crush on! This is the place to go for meat, he and his team, make their own small goods, and hang and age meat on the premises.

Please excuse the photos, the restaurant is fairly dark, and as I still feel like a bit of a douche taking photos of my food, I didn’t put my flash on, and I’ve had to edit the photos to brighten them.

I really wanted to try the chef’s feast, were the kitchen chooses for you, for $85 per person. But decided that was a little expensive and as we are ‘eating well’ probably too much food. However, after seeing the table next to us get it, we regretted it, every thing looked amazing and not too big portions, and they got to try more of the menu.

We shared the the Bacon and Onion Croquettes with Bacon Mayo. You can’t go wrong with bacon and mayo, can you? The mayonnaise had an insane savory smokiness. However, the man thought the Garlic Prawns he had at his last visit were better!

IMG_1858[1]

I had the Pepper Crusted Hanger Steak with Salsa Verde. To tell you the truth I got this as a healthier choice, and wasn’t expecting it to be fantastic. But it was pretty good. It was really fresh and zingy. It was cooked perfectly medium rare, and hanger steaks have lots of flavor. The salsa verde, was fresh and piquant. It was served on a bed of wilted spinach.

IMG_1859[1]

The man had  Crackling wrapped roll of roast pork, roasted vegetables, balsamic shallots. Again perfectly cooked, and the crackling was some of the best I’ve tried. The pork was topped with a really fresh shaved fennel mix, that he really enjoyed. But again be thought that the 500g Rib Eye he had last time was better!

IMG_1838[1]

Then we shared a a dessert mezze plate – it was amazing and my last big sugar blow out, for awhile.

IMG_1843[1]

It consisted of mini -Creme Brulee, Chocolate Brownie, Triple Choc Mousse, Raspberry Sorbet, and some other delicious homemade ice cream with a Sesame Tulle. Here it is after…

IMG_1842[1]

The Brulee was awesome, and the sorbet was just yum fresh insane raspberry flavor!

The restaurants itself is quite small, with an extra seating area up stairs. As mentioned before it quite dark, with decor indicating the chefs love of meat. It could be quite romantic, however, it was very busy were there, and there was little elbow room between tables. It’s in a nice spot, with a little court yard type area adjacent, which provides a bit of a European feel.

Service is knowledgeable, friendly and efficient.

The best part? Adrian himself was there. Earlier in the meal, I saw in helping the floor staff set up extra tables. When we left he was near the cash register and asked if we enjoyed the meal, if we had enough to eat, and told us that it was ok to pick up the bone and chew on it at his restaurant. He then has a bit of chat to us about what were up to later. This was lovely, these days its fairly unusual to see these ‘celebrity’ type chefs, at their restaurants, and it was obvious that he really cares about the food and his customers!

Go there, soon. It will be pricey but worth it, EVERYTHING will be perfectly prepared!

La Luna Bistro on Urbanspoon

 

Bacon and Egg Filo Pie – with Onion Jam

IMG_1579

I was really craving bacon and egg pie. Although, filo is lighter than other pastries this is NOT a lighter recipe.

It does contain lots of yummy things though, eggs, bacon, cheese and onion!

The filo and use of a loaf pan makes for easy assembly of the pie.

It can be served hot or cold, and can make a good breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner dish.

I found this recipe on the website of the TV show everyday gourmet http://www.everydaygourmet.tv/recipes/352.

In this version, I added the onion jam I posted previously https://teagzteagz.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/img_1542.jpg , and used some mayonnaise in place of the sour cream, as I forgot to buy it. I would recommend using the sour cream, the mayonnaise made it a little to rich. I also didn’t use any fresh  herbs, but the chives used in the original recipes or parsley would be lovely.

To make this healthier, use less and leaner bacon, or ham, or replace bacon with some spinach or tomato. You could also use low fat cheese and reduce the amount.

IMG_1493

Ingredients:

50g butter, melted
7 sheets of thick filo pastry
9 pieces of thin streaky bacon
10 eggs
Salt and pepper
200g cheddar, grated
50g mayonnaise

1 portion of onion jam
Juice and zest of ½ lemon

Steps.

1. Pre heat the oven to 190C. Grease the bottom of a loaf tin and line with one sheet of filo pastry, allowing excess pastry to runoff the edges. Repeat 5 times, lightly brushing each time with the melted butter.

2.Fry the bacon until golden brown, drain.

IMG_1497

3. Place three pieces of the bacon in the filo lined tin. Crack the eggs into a bowl and season with salt pepper. Whisk, just to break up the egg yolks. Pour half of this mixture into tin, followed by another three pieces of bacon.

IMG_1506

IMG_1509

 

4. In another bowl combine  cheddar, mayonnaise and lemon. Place on top of bacon, top with the onion jam and then add the remaining egg mixture. Finish with the last three pieces of bacon. Cover with the remaining buttered filo pastry and seal by crimping the edges to form a pie. Brush with a little butter.

IMG_1511

 

5. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Once cooked allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin.

IMG_1512

 

IMG_1516

Bacon Pancakes for cousin Jade….An ode to Adventuretime

IMG_1409

My cousin is a fan of the cartoon ‘Adventuretime’, and posts screenshots of the main character making bacon pancakes. I saw this and thought GENIUS, pancakes with bacon IN them!

I like the  sweet/savory combination of pancakes with bacon and maple syrup which is popular in the US, however, here in Australia this is fairly uncommon. Generally we have a savory breakfast of bacon and eggs, and pancakes tend to be a sweet breakfast . If we have savory pancakes they tend to be of the European crepe style.

I searched for a recipe and found one by Martha Stewart (http://www.marthastewart.com/326883/bacon-pancakes),  I also found a reference to a retro Aunt Jemima pancake mix recipe for ‘Bacon strip pancakes’ (http://www.mrbreakfast.com/superdisplay.asp?recipeid=2853), I think this shape works better, as you get a more even bacon to pancake ratio.

This is a fluffy American style recipe of pancake using the reaction between the buttermilk and the baking soda, thus the mixture can’t be made ahead and stored. If you used a milk based, thinner consistency batter, I’m not sure how it would ‘hold’ the bacon.

I’ve used what we call ‘streaky bacon’ in Australia, which is the closest we have to American style bacon strips that get super crispy. If yo prefer to use a leaner cut you could used ‘short bacon’ and make round pancakes though it wont be as crispy.

Instead of grilling the bacon, I trimmed and removed the rind, and baked it in the oven on a rack to render the fat and get it really crispy and crunchy, cover the bottom of the pan with baking paper to save time on cleaning up (remember when you are keep the pancakes warm in the oven the bacon will lose some crispness). I also used rice bran oil rather than the bacon fat to cook the pancakes (just personal preference).

If you have more mixture than bacon or want to skip the bacon, other toppings could include jam,ice-cream, honey or just maple syrup. Golden syrup and lemon and sugar are traditional Australian/British toppings.

Be sure to get real maple syrup, not maple flavored syrup, which is artificial rubbish.

Ingredients:

1 cup of plain flour

2 tbs of white sugar

1 1/2 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of baking soda

pinch of salt

1 1/4 cups of butter milk

1 egg

2 tbs of melted butter

8 slices of bacon

Maple Syrup to serve

1. Preheat oven to 200c. Trim bacon to your liking and place on a rack, inside a baking tray. Cook for around 20 minutes or until crisp to your liking.  Remove bacon and turn oven down to 100c.

IMG_1388

2. Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, and egg. Whisk flour mixture into buttermilk mixture just until moistened, with small to medium lumps remaining.

IMG_1386IMG_1385IMG_1391

3.  Put a small amount of oil or bacon fat in a fry pan, heat over medium. Pour 1/2 cupfuls batter into fry pan, in long oval shape and top each with a bacon slice. Cook until some bubbles appear on top of pancakes and a few have burst, about 2 minutes. With a spatula, carefully flip pancakes and cook until browned on underside, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Keep pancakes warm in oven and repeat with remaining batter, adding more bacon fat or oil if needed. Serve with pure maple syrup if desired.

IMG_1397

Breakfast of champions! x

Steak with Bacon and Mushroom Sauce and Sweet Potato and Swede Mash

Image

I really wanted to make stew tonight, it cold and miserable today I really wanted some hot stew and mash. However, this idea was rejected by the man of the house.

So I still went with a mash, but gave him three of his favorite things: steak, bacon and mushrooms.

I used scotch fillet, but feel free to use any cut you like.

Ingredients: for 2 with left over mash

2 steaks

1 rasher of middle bacon rind removed and fat trimmed

half a red chilli  thinly sliced

1 spring onion thinly sliced

handful of button mushrooms thinly sliced

olive oil

2 tbsp of  lite cream

1 swede

half a medium sweet potato

Butter and or milk

1 tbsp of finely chopped parsley

Green veg to serve

IMG_1125

  1. Peel and cube swede and sweet potato. Fill a large saucepan with water, add salt and put on high heat. Add the swede and boil for half an hour.
  2. After half an hour of boiling the swede add the sweet potato, this will be cooked in another half an hour
  3. Heat a small amount of oil in a small saucepan, add bacon and cook on medium heat for about five minutes. Add mushrooms, chilli and spring onion and saute for another five minutes, add the cream turn heat to low and let cook until the sauce thickens a little, turn heat off and add parsley.
  4. Heat pan to cook steak  to your liking allowing for some resting time.
  5. After half an hour from when the sweet potato was added, check that vegetables are soft enough for a knife to go through them very easily. If not cook for longer. When cooked drain and return to hot pan to evaporate any water. Start to mash, add butter and/or warm milk, and continue to mash until you are happy with the texture. Taste, and season (remember if you use butter this will add some salt).

I have not specified the amount of butter or milk, as this is up to your preference based on how much fat or dairy you want to add. Buttery mash is great, but not for the waistline. You could use an alternative milk or fat to cut out the dairy. Additionally you cut the cream from the sauce and just use the mushrooms as a topping or replace with stock or wine.

T x.

IMG_1126